1 / 12



A U-THONG STYLE BRONZE HEAD OF BUDDHA, THAILAND, 15TH CENTURY Scientific Analysis Report: A thermoluminescence analysis report issued by QED Laboratoire, Marseille, on 30 November 2023, reference no. QED2349/FB-0501, sets the firing date of the casting core sample between 400 and 500 years ago, consistent with the dating above. A copy of the report accompanies this lot. Style C. The serene face with a benevolent expression, detailed with a bow-shaped mouth set in a gentle smile, heavily lidded eyes, and a straight nose, all under arched brows. The hair is worked in tight curls over a tall ushnisha and pushed away from the forehead by a plain band. Provenance: RD collection, Paris, France. Condition: Good condition with wear, casting irregularities, and obvious losses. Signs of weathering and erosion, encrustations, and tiny losses. The bronze with a naturally grown patina with malachite encrustations. Weight: 3,025 g (incl. stand) Dimension: Height 19 cm (excl. stand), 29.8 cm (incl. stand) Literature comparison: Compare a closely related U-thong style bronze head of Buddha, late 14th century-early 15th century, in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, object number 89-13-29. Compare a related U-thong style bronze head of Buddha, 14th century, in the collection of the British Museum, museum number 1952,1215.4. Auction result comparison: Type: Closely related Auction: Christie’s New York, 15 March 2016, lot 319 Price: USD 4,375 or approx. EUR 5,400 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing Description: A bronze head of Buddha, Thailand, U-thong style, circa 15th century Expert remark: Compare the closely related casting, similar sinuous features, and separation of the hair from the forehead by a plain band which culminates in a widow’s peak. Note the smaller size (11.4 cm). The U-Thong Style, a term used to identify bronzes of three successive chronological groups (identified by the scholar, A.B. Griswold as Styles A, B and C) between the late twelfth and fifteenth centuries, exhibits a blend of Mon, Khmer and other Southeast Asian influences that were maintained from prior workshops in the region. Most U-Thong-style images were relatively small in scale, particularly those in the earlier styles. The designation of U-Thong is in itself somewhat obscure; although a Mon Dvaravati city-state of that name existed at the height of the Dvaravati period (from roughly the seventh to eleventh century), archaeological evidence suggests it was abandoned by the eleventh century. Instead, the appellation seems to have been in reference to King Ramathibodi, who founded the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1351 and who was also known as Prince U-Thong. Images of the Buddha designated as being in the U-Thong style thus refer to bronzes carried out in a distinct style developed prior to the founding of Ayutthaya, but which continued and was synthesized with the mainstream Ayutthaya Buddhist art that flourished after its rise to power. Its earliest stylistic impulses were a sophisticated amalgamation of the other regional styles of the time, including the Khmericized Lopburi kingdom and the Khmer Empire itself to the east, the Mon Haripunjaya kingdom to the north, and the kingdoms of Burma to the west. The sculptures of the U-Thong style are most strikingly distinguished from other contemporaneous styles in the features of the face and details of the head and hair. The cranial protuberance on the top of the head, referred to as the ushnisha, is, in U-Thong Styles B and C, topped with a tall, flaming jewel. The hair is arranged in small, tight curls, in contrast to the larger “snailshell” curls found in the contemporaneous sculpture of Sukhothai. Additionally, the hair is separated from the forehead by a thin, plain band. In U-Thong Styles A and B, the band typically run straight across the top of the forehead. The face, with its heavy-lidded, downcast eyes, broad nose, and wide mouth with full lips, demonstrates the influence of earlier Khmer styles, including the Bayon of the thirteenth century, although in Style C these somewhat severe features are softened. The shape of the face, which in Styles A and B are almost rectangular, is in Style C closer to the more oval-shaped faces of contemporary Ayutthaya sculpture.

Go to lot


Estimate 1 500 - 3 000 EUR
Starting price 1 500 EUR

* Not including buyer’s premium.
Please read the conditions of sale for more information.

Sale fees: 30 %
Leave bid

For sale on Friday 28 Jun : 11:00 (CEST)
vienna, Austria
Galerie Zacke
Browse the catalogue Sales terms Sale info

Delivery to
Change delivery address
Delivery is not mandatory.
You may use the carrier of your choice.
The indicated price does not include the price of the lot or the auction house's fees.